Student Profile

  • Olivier Menager

    Growing up in Cannes, France, home of the International Film Festival, Olivier Menager says he was influenced by American pop culture. After he earned a bachelor’s degree in business and management in France and a master’s degree in banking and finance in England, Menager was delighted to make Chicago his new home when he accepted a job as a business analyst at the Chicago office of a global brokerage service in 2006. “My heart is in the Midwest,” says Menager, “and I’m a big Chicago sports fan.”

    Now a senior financial analyst and permanent U.S. resident, Menager has put down roots and looks to the future. “In France I had very little exposure to the subject of economics. It’s something I discovered about four years ago, and it’s been a revelation,” says Menager, who plans to apply to master’s programs in economics. Realizing that he needed to strengthen his academic background before applying, Menager met with an SPS academic adviser, an experience that was "tremendously helpful." Menager adds, “I bombarded her with questions. I had courses in mind that I wanted to take, but I didn’t know about the post-baccalaureate certificate programs. She proposed wrapping those courses into a customized certificate that will give me a better chance of being accepted into a graduate program.”

    Menager has begun a sequence of math and economics courses — “For economics, you need to take math until it hurts” — and is pleased with the level of the classes, which he says are challenging but not overwhelming, with instructors providing clear explanations of dense material. “Enrolling in SPS was a turning point in my objective of going to graduate school,” says Menager. “No other program in Chicago comes close.”